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Rage

by Bob Woodward

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1285617,861 (4.04)21
Biography & Autobiography. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML:Rage is an unprecedented and intimate tour de force of new reporting on the Trump presidency facing a global pandemic, economic disaster and racial unrest.
Woodward, the #1 international bestselling author of Fear: Trump in the White House, has uncovered the precise moment the president was warned that the Covid-19 epidemic would be the biggest national security threat to his presidency. In dramatic detail, Woodward takes readers into the Oval Office as Trump's head pops up when he is told in January 2020 that the pandemic could reach the scale of the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed 675,000 Americans.

In 17 on-the-record interviews with Woodward over seven volatile monthsâ??an utterly vivid window into Trump's mindâ??the president provides a self-portrait that is part denial and part combative interchange mixed with surprising moments of doubt as he glimpses the perils in the presidency and what he calls the "dynamite behind every door."

At key decision points, Rage shows how Trump's responses to the crises of 2020 were rooted in the instincts, habits and style he developed during his first three years as president.

Revisiting the earliest days of the Trump presidency, Rage reveals how Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats struggled to keep the country safe as the president dismantled any semblance of collegial national security decision making.

Rage draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand witnesses as well as participants' notes, emails, diaries, calendars and confidential documents.

Woodward obtained 25 never-seen personal letters exchanged between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who describes the bond between the two leaders as out of a "fantasy film."

Trump insists to Woodward he will triumph over Covid-19 and the economic calamity. "Don't worry about it, Bob. Okay?" Trump told the author in July. "Don't worry about it. We'll get to do another book. You'll find I was right."
Includes excerpts from Bob Woodward's interviews with President Donald J. Trump for Rage
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English (55)  Piratical (1)  All languages (56)
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BIBLIOGRAPHIC DETAILS
(Print: ©9/12/2020; 9781471197710; Simon Schuster; 480 pp.)
(Digital: Yes).
*Audio: ©9/15/2020; 978-1797113043; Simon & Schuster Audio; Duration 13:28:17; 12 parts; unabridged
(Film: No.)

SUMMARY/ EVALUATION:
This is Bob’s second book about Donald J. Trump. Donald had not agreed to interviews for the first one, “Fear”, and, according to Bob, felt that perhaps if he had, Bob may have painted a better picture of him. So, he did 17 interviews with Bob for this book.
During the final interviews, Donald makes it clear that he understands that Bob is “one of them”—one of those liberal democrats who does not understand him. I suspect that Trump’s hope in doing the interviews was that Woodward would emphasize what Trump feels are his strong points. But my sense is that Woodward’s motive runs more along the line of broaching Trump’s weak points with him, not necessarily to demonstrate them to his audience, but possibly with a motive toward exerting some degree of influence.
So the book has a debate flavor with many “yes but's" on both sides.
The title of the book comes from something Donald told Bob early on, that he just seems to inspire rage in some people. They don’t like what he does or how he does it. And, is he maybe just a little proud of this? Me thinks he is.
Bob recorded the interviews and appears to be recounting parts of them here verbatim. He also interviewed people who had close contact with Donald during his presidency.
They discuss China’s handling of the pandemic; America’s experience of and handling of the pandemic; the strength of the economy before and after the pandemic; the friendly relationship Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea struck up; and other matters of consequence to the presidency.
We get a fairly accurate sense of Trump’s attitudes, but granted, they are served along with Bob’s assessment of those attitudes.

AUTHOR:
Robert (Bob) Upshur Woodward (3/26/1943). According to Wikipedia, Bob “is an American investigative journalist. He started working for The Washington Post as a reporter in 1971 and currently holds the title of associate editor.[1][2]
While a young reporter for The Washington Post in 1972, Woodward teamed up with Carl Bernstein; the two did much of the original news reporting on the Watergate scandal. These scandals led to numerous government investigations and the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon. The work of Woodward and Bernstein was called "maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time" by longtime journalism figure Gene Roberts.[3]
Woodward continued to work for The Washington Post after his reporting on Watergate. He has written 20 books on American politics and current affairs, 13 of which have topped best-seller lists.”

NARRATOR:
Robert Petkoff. According to Wikipedia, Robert “is an American stage actor known for his work in Shakespearean productions and more recently on the New York City musical theater stage. Petkoff has performed on Broadway, the West End, regional theatre, and done work in film and television. Petkoff was featured as "Perchik" in the Tony award-nominated 2004 revival cast of Fiddler on the Roof but is perhaps best known for his role as "Tateh" in the 2009 revival of Ragtime on Broadway.[1] Petkoff has also provided the voices for over two dozen audiobooks, winning awards for his reading of Michael Koryta's So Cold the River. Married to actress Susan Wands, Petkoff has lived in New York City for the last twenty years, and often performs in benefit concerts for theater-district-related charities.”
Coincidentally, after listening to "Rage", we are now listening to Scott Turow’s “Pleading Guilty”. The dialogue is so different between the two books, that if the credits hadn’t been announced in the beginning, I probably would not have recognized that this is another of Robert’s narrations.
Great diction; perfect inflection and intonation; and easy to understand over engine and traffic noise.

GENRE:
Biography, non-fiction, politics

TIME FRAME:
2016-2020

SUBJECTS:
President Trump, politics, pandemic, Black Lives Matter, white privilege, Kim Jong-un

DEDICATION:
“To Alice Mayhew, who edited every one of my 19 previous books over 44 years and gave me a lifetime of wisdom and love, and to Carolyn Reidy, our revered and steady captain at Simon & Schuster. I miss them both.
And to the next generation:
Diana Woodward
Tali Woodward
Son-in-law Gabe Roth
Grandchildren Zadie and Theo"

SAMPLE QUOTATION:
From chapter one:
“Shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday of 2016, retired Marine General James Mattis saw a call from an unknown Indiana number flash on his cell phone screen. Not knowing anyone from there, he ignored it.
He was volunteering at the local Tri-Cities Food Bank in Richland, Washington, his childhood home on the Columbia River, where his mother and brother still lived.
When a second call came from Indiana, he answered.
“This is Mike Pence.”
Mattis didn’t know a Mike Pence, but quickly realized he was speaking with the vice president-elect.
The president-elect would like to talk to you about the secretary of defense job, Pence said.
I am happy to give my advice, Mattis said, but I am not eligible. To preserve strict civilian control, the law prohibits anyone who has been a military officer in the last seven years from serving as defense secretary. The only exception had been World War II General George Marshall, who had received a waiver in 1950 and been a national hero.
Given the raging partisan divisions in Washington, Mattis privately believed Democrats in Congress would never support such a waiver.
But Mattis did talk to Trump, and agreed to fly east. He wanted to persuade Trump to question his positions on NATO and torture. Trump had called the military alliance “obsolete” and promised to bring back the “enhanced interrogation techniques” on suspected terrorists that President Barack Obama had banned. Mattis thought Trump was wrong on both counts.”

RATING:
5 stars. Despite my opinion that the subject of politics can be dry and alternating parts boring and annoying, this book kept my interest.

STARTED-FINISHED
8/31/2021 – 9/9/2021
( )
  TraSea | Apr 29, 2024 |
I think Woodward did an excellent job of going behind-the-scenes and setting the stage for the players in the Trump administration. I got a better idea of the advisors and senior staff who had to work with the President daily and the struggles both sides had to contend with. Woodward's years of journalism are clear in this book as he simply lays things out as they are, uses quotes from 17 interviews with Trump as well as other interviews, and saves his own personal opinion for the epilogue.

I was prepared to be furious and frustrated with our administration at the end of this book. Instead I walk away with a better understanding of the challenges faced and the intricacies (and difficulties) of governing a country. ( )
  teejayhanton | Mar 22, 2024 |
A detailed accounting of the Trump presidency, using direct interviews with Trump and his staff.

It details his divisiveness, indecision, failure to lead, and correctly concludes he is the wrong person for the job. ( )
  travisriddle | Dec 25, 2023 |
This one was a bit exhausting. Woodward's recounting of his conversations with Trump portray the conversation with a thoughtful journalist and a brick wall. ( )
  wolfe.myles | Feb 28, 2023 |
Sadly with a couple of years hindsight, although Woodward’s record of the first three years of Trump’s presidency remains damning, the main argument that Trump was not suitable to be President of the USA is now also commonplace. We lived through those mad times and survived.
As you should expect as written by Woodward, it is eminently readable, broken into 46 chapters which take you from department to department of Trump’s administration, moving the story forwards, history.

Where the book works best for me is in telling the stories of Mattis, Tillerson and Coats. People who served their country, but were betrayed by their President.
I am currently also reading the stoic philosophy of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations, and I think a lot of the military personnel who were asked to serve the US in the Trump administration were probably more than a little conversant with the stoicism of the Meditations.

The coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic is necessarily incomplete, as the book covers the period to July 2020, but it is illuminating for being written in that moment.

Although the book might now be viewed as historical reportage, it remains fascinating to read and I was particularly taken with chapter eleven about the nuclear threat of North Korea, where I hadn’t previously appreciated the US/South Korean response.
I will be reading Woodward’s next book, Peril. ( )
  CarltonC | Jan 29, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
Policy purists may prefer the veteran journalist Bob Woodward's Rage (Simon & Schuster), a densely reported account of Trump's latter years in office enlivened by often rambling conversations with the man himself. Watching him cling on by his fingernails this November, one struggles to dispute Mary [Trump]'s belief that Trump's greatest fear is losing face in public.
added by Cynfelyn | editThe Guardian, Gaby Hinsliff (Nov 28, 2020)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Woodward, Bobprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Becker, AstridTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bernhardt, ChristianeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bieker, SylviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Biermann, PiekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gunkel, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Köpfer, MonikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kleiner, StephanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kober, HainerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Liebl, ElisabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Litman, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mehne, JulianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petkoff, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Polanco, LewelinDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reese, HellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schestag, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siber, Karl HeinzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Singelmann, KarstenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wong, AlexCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zeltner-Shane, HenrietteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have. I don't know if that's an asset or a liability, but whatever it is, I do."

Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump in an interview with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa on March 31, 2016, at the Old Post Office Pavilion, Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C.

"This is when you said to us: 'I bring out rage in people. I bring rage out. I always have. I don't know if it's an asset or a liability. But whatever it is, I do.' Is that true?"
"Yes," Trump said. "Sometimes, I do more things than other people are able to get done. And that, sometimes, can make my opponents unhappy. They view me differently than they view other presidents. A lot of other presidents that you've covered didn't get a lot done, Bob."


President Donald J. Trump in an interview with Bob Woodward for this book, June 22, 2020.
Dedication
To Alice Mayhew, who edited every one of my 19 previous books over 44 years and gave me a lifetime of wisdom and love, and to Carolyn Reidy, our revered and steady captain at Simon & Schuster. I miss them both.

And to the next generation:
Diana Woodward
Tali Woodward
son-in-law Gabe Roth
grandchildren Zadie and Theo
First words
Shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday of 2016, retired Marine General James Mattis saw a call from an unknown Indiana number flash on his cell phone screen.
Quotations
If you don't know where you're going, any path will get you there.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Biography & Autobiography. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML:Rage is an unprecedented and intimate tour de force of new reporting on the Trump presidency facing a global pandemic, economic disaster and racial unrest.
Woodward, the #1 international bestselling author of Fear: Trump in the White House, has uncovered the precise moment the president was warned that the Covid-19 epidemic would be the biggest national security threat to his presidency. In dramatic detail, Woodward takes readers into the Oval Office as Trump's head pops up when he is told in January 2020 that the pandemic could reach the scale of the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed 675,000 Americans.

In 17 on-the-record interviews with Woodward over seven volatile monthsâ??an utterly vivid window into Trump's mindâ??the president provides a self-portrait that is part denial and part combative interchange mixed with surprising moments of doubt as he glimpses the perils in the presidency and what he calls the "dynamite behind every door."

At key decision points, Rage shows how Trump's responses to the crises of 2020 were rooted in the instincts, habits and style he developed during his first three years as president.

Revisiting the earliest days of the Trump presidency, Rage reveals how Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats struggled to keep the country safe as the president dismantled any semblance of collegial national security decision making.

Rage draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand witnesses as well as participants' notes, emails, diaries, calendars and confidential documents.

Woodward obtained 25 never-seen personal letters exchanged between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who describes the bond between the two leaders as out of a "fantasy film."

Trump insists to Woodward he will triumph over Covid-19 and the economic calamity. "Don't worry about it, Bob. Okay?" Trump told the author in July. "Don't worry about it. We'll get to do another book. You'll find I was right."
Includes excerpts from Bob Woodward's interviews with President Donald J. Trump for Rage

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